Trains are an amazing engineering revolution of their time, and if you want to experience some special train history, why not come see the oldest operating Southern Hemisphere railway roundhouse. The roundhouse is still used today for the rebuilding and reconditioning of locomotives and rolling stock. Also visit the Roundhouse museum, the Bethungra rail spiral or Railway Square and see locomotive history in all its finest.
When officially opened in September 1947, the New South Wales Government Railways claimed it was the “largest roundhouse in the southern hemisphere”.
Construction started during the later years of WWII when it was realised that the existing locomotive sheds in the triangle north of the station were too antiquated and small. The Junee roundhouse, or loco, as it was called, was the last steam depot built in NSW and as such was the pinnacle of steam depot development in the state. Steam soon gave way to diesel power and Junee loco was accordingly modified and steam facilities such as the coal stage and de-ashing pits removed.
The main feature, the roundhouse, remains. Centred around the unique 100 ft (33 m) turntable are two sheds and 42 tracks including the high-roads and machine shop. Today the roundhouse is home to Junee Railway Workshop, a local company that maintains and repairs rolling stock and locomotives for hire and for other operators. Other parts of the roundhouse are occupied by Regional Heritage Transport Association Junee – Inc. who operate a museum dedicated to local railway history on the site.
Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids).
Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
High Support Needs
Caters for people with high support needs who travel with a support person.
Open Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Not open on Public Holidays.
Guided Group Tours any time by request
Bethungra Rail Spiral
An engineering feat constructed in the 1940s to allow rail engines to negotiate the steep slope. The Bethungra Spiral on the Sydney to Melbourne line, goes through two tunnels and over the top of the hill, through a big cutting at the spur.
This is the largest example of a 360 degree spiral in Australia.
To get there, drive through Bethungra township on the road to Cootamundra. About five minutes out of Bethungra look for the three tiers of railway line on the right hand side of the road. On the right is a dirt road, follow the dirt road to the car park with the gate, park and then walk to the railway.
CountryLink trains pass through the spiral on their way to Junee. You can find timetables on the CountryLink website.
A working scale model of the spiral can be seen at the Broadway Historical Museum.